Fernando Alonso is relaxed and focused ahead of his latest Formula One world title showdown with Sebastian Vettel. Alonso has seen a 44-point lead he held over Vettel following his win in Germany in July, eroded on the back of the latter’s stunning late resurgence in his Red Bull.
Four consecutive victories recently allowed Vettel to overhaul a man he is going head to head with in a fight to become a three-time champion, opening up a 13-point cushion. Vettel is overwhelming favourite to win his third successive crown, and must finish 15 points ahead of Alonso at the US GP.
Alonso, however, is undeterred. Asked for his emotion now compared to the scraps in 2006, 2007 and 2010, Alonso said: “I’m much more relaxed, much more focused. In 2006, in fighting with Michael (Schumacher) in the last race in Brazil, it was quite a stressful, intense weekend. It was not easy to focus, sleep, or things like that because it was emotional. In 2007, it was also a very stressful last race in fighting Lewis (Hamilton) and Kimi (Raikkonen). In 2010, we arrived in Abu Dhabi and I was more calm, more confident and things were very good for us in preparation. But we did not win in the end. Now, for these last two races, I feel normal. This is the fourth time I’m fighting for the world title, with the hope it will go to the last race. You feel the difference of being focused, concentrated on doing the job, understanding if you do everything perfect you have a chance, or if you make a mistake, you lose it.”